Time and Tide

It’s Wednesday. You know what that means right? You can say it, I know you want to.

Yep it’s time again for the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction challenge. (I knew you could say it. I believed in you the whole time.)

Time and Tide

Time and Tide

Photo by K.S. Brooks

That kid in the picture is my little brother, Andy. In 1987, he got carried away by an undertow at this very beach. The authorities never recovered his body.

I took this picture of him yesterday, when he walked up out of the water as if nothing had happened…

“Andy,” I said. “Is that really you?” The look on his face, terror, he didn’t know me, not anymore.

“My mom told me not to talk to strangers,” he said. He scanned the beach. When his eyes came back to mine, I saw the fear in them again. “You look familiar…”

What could I say? His brother, the one he remembered would have been about 3. I’ve been told over the years that I look like my mom. Did he see that? God, he wouldn’t know about her. She passed away a couple years back. “It’s me, Jimmy,” I said.

“Jimmy who? You know my dad?” He studied me, eyes traveled up and down my body. “They were just over here a few minutes ago.” He waved his hand toward a couple girls laid out in the sun.

“Mom and dad went home a while ago,” I said. “We looked for you, looked for you everywhere.” I stepped toward him and he pulled away, eyes still locked on me. “I can take you to dad.”

“I want my mom,” he said. He stepped back again. “Thanks anyway, mister.” He turned and sprinted further down the beach.

“Andy! Andy, come back!” I shouted but he still ran. I lost him to a swell of people. He disappeared into the crowd further down the beach.

This year was the same as every year since he disappeared. The brief encounter and lost again. I didn’t mean it Andy… I didn’t mean it…

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